Together in Play services are available to all families with concerns about the development of their children, regardless of whether the child has a diagnosis of autism or not. Intensive early intervention can change the course of development for children with developmental challenges, setting them up for a successful school experience and a fulfilling life.
We work with children ages 0-6 who are developing atypically, have educational needs or difficulties with relating and communicating. Although a diagnosis is not required (and sometimes not available before age 3) we often work with families of children with a variety of diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Social Communication Disorder, and Developmental Delay.
By providing developmentally appropriate, individualized, social intervention, consultation and training, the Play Consultant shows you practical ways of making every interaction with your child a growing and learning experience. Parents then provide targeted play intervention sessions and also deliver intervention through daily family practices such as meals, bath time, outdoor play, and even bedtime.
Home and school visits allow the Consultant to see your child in the place where he/she acts most naturally. The consultant will videotape segments of the visits to monitor your child’s progress and give suggestions for more effective techniques. This allows your family and the consultant to design and implement a plan that is individualized for your child.
We consider you to be the expert on your child. The consultant is an expert in child development, early intervention and on the PLAY Project developmental approach. She has been trained to guide you and teach you techniques so that you can be fully empowered to effectively assist your child’s development. Therefore, you must be ready to learn and to become your child’s main therapist.
Caregivers are expected to provide the intensive “dose” of intervention in between visits from the consultant by spending two to three hours a day putting the PLAY project model into practice through play-based interactions. This typically occurs in multiple 20-minute sessions, but we encourage you not to think of this time as only intervention, this can be fun bonding time for both of you.
During the first visit, the Together In Play consultant will meet with the family or other caregiver and get to know the child, their needs, and the family or caregiver’s preferences and priorities. This will include a variety of checklists and assessments, an interview with the caregiver, observation of the child, and a brief recording of the natural play interactions in the home.
After this visit the play consultant will combine all the information gathered to create the child’s first “PLAY Plan”, a report that includes a child profile, and the initial recommendations for beginning intervention. The caregiver will also receive a copy of the video and a “video review” that will describe important aspects of the recorded interaction that can be used as reflection and teaching tools for expanding learning opportunities within play using specific methods and techniques.
Once the initial assessment is completed, on subsequent visits the consultant will train the caregiver and will provide intervention through modeling, coaching, and discussion of principles, methods, and techniques that are most relevant and effective for the child. A 15-minute video will be collected at some point during each subsequent visit. This video will be reviewed and returned to the caregiver along with an updated PLAY Plan within 2 weeks of the visit.
A year of home or school PLAY Project services typically costs $3500-$4000. Discounts may be available for families suffering financial hardships.